Professor Stefan Nickel Confirmed as FZI Executive Director for Three More Years

The FZI achieved a record result of 30.5 million euros in total turnover last year

At its spring meeting on June 25, 2024, the Board of Trustees unanimously confirmed the business mathematician Prof. Dr. Stefan Nickel in office for another three years. The term of full-time Executive Director Jan Wiesenberger was also extended for five more years with effect from October 1, 2024. Together with Professor J. Marius Zöllner, Professor Stefan Nickel and Jan Wiesenberger will continue to steer the fortunes of the non-profit research institution. At the meeting on June 25, the members of the FZI Board of Trustees praised the Executive Directors’ successful and prudent management of the FZI even in challenging times. The independent foundation presented a new record result of 30.5 million euros in total revenue for 2023.

The three Executive Directors are responsible for the research planning, strategic development, and the foundation’s operational business. Professor Stefan Nickel’s responsibilities include ensuring scientific excellence, reviewing research contracts, and positioning the FZI. Nickel, who holds a doctorate in business mathematics and has been Chair of Discrete Optimization and Logistics at the KIT Department of Economics and Management since 2009, has been a member of the FZI Board of Directors since 2011. In January 2023, he took over the position of FZI Executive Director from Prof. Dr. Andreas Oberweis. He will now steer the fortunes of the non-profit research institute for three more years together with Professor J. Marius Zöllner and Jan Wiesenberger.

Strong performance by the FZI team: record turnover of 30.5 million euros

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Prof. Dr. Thomas Hirth, Vice President for Innovation and International Affairs of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), emphasized on behalf of the Board of Trustees that the continuous development of the FZI was impressive. They also thanked the Board of Executive Directors for their prudent and successful planning. The FZI reported a new record turnover of 30.5 million euros for the past year, which is also a strong performance of the entire FZI team of 273 employees and 172 student assistants, as Jan Wiesenberger emphasized.

The FZI trains interdisciplinary specialists and managers for an academic career and a successful career in business or self-employment, enabling the economy and society to shape digital change. Especially in a shortage of skilled workers, the FZI is essential as an employer for prospective experts who combine scientific questions with practical activities.

185 research projects were processed in 2023

In 2023, the FZI scientists worked on 185 research projects, 78 of which were direct industrial commissions. One unique feature is the broad range of project duration from one day to 63 months. As a research partner, particularly for SMEs in Baden-Württemberg, the FZI also offers its expertise for lightweight research support, just as it supports its industrial partners through long-term research collaboration. The non-profit organization, with the legal form of a foundation, utilizes the latest information technology findings to develop practical and excellent solutions for technology transfer and to promote innovation.

The FZI is the leading independent institute for applied cutting-edge research and research transfer in information and communication technology as a response to social challenges – worldwide, today, and tomorrow.

Interview with the Board of Executive Directors

Please note: If you want to interview our board members, we will happily arrange a meeting. If you are interested, please get in touch with Johanna Häs (phone: +49 721 9654-904, e-mail:

About the FZI

The FZI Research Center for Information Technology, with headquarters in Karlsruhe and a branch office in Berlin, is a non-profit institution for information technology application research and technology transfer. It delivers the latest scientific findings in information technology to companies and public institutions and qualifies individuals for academic and business careers or the leap into self-employment. Supervised by professors from various faculties, the research groups at the FZI develop interdisciplinary concepts, software, hardware, and system solutions for their clients and implement the solutions found as prototypes. The FZI House of Living Labs provides a unique research environment for application research. The FZI is an innovation partner of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and strategic partner of the German Informatics Society (GI).

Press contact

Johanna Häs

Division Manager Communications

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From left to right: Prof. Dr.-Ing. J. Marius Zöllner, Prof. Dr. Stefan Nickel and Jan Wiesenberger (photo: FZI/Sandra Göttisheim)

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